EuroRevision: The Tables Turn for the Eurovision Heavyweights (1966)

Eurovision 1966 was the 11th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, and for this edition, we returned to Luxembourg. This was the second time that Luxembourg had hosted the contest, previously hosting in 1962. The contest was hosted at the Villa Louvigny on the 5th of March. The host of the show was Josiane Shen.

The list of participants was the same as the previous year, with no new or returning nations, and no nations withdrew from this edition of the contest. A total of 18 nations took part in the contest. A notable change to the 1966 contest was the introduction of a language rule, stating that a nation could only sing in any of their national languages. This was possibly introduced due to Sweden’s 1965 entry which was performed in English.

Interestingly, the Dutch performer Milly Scott was the first singer to use a portable microphone. Another first of the contest was a performance without the use of an orchestra. Italian entrant Domenico Modugno had rearranged his entry, ‘Dio, come ti amo’ since his performance at Sanremo with the first performance of the new arrangement during the Eurovision rehearsal. This broke the EBU rule stating that the final arrangement should be finalised well in advance of the contest. The new arrangement featured three musicians of his own, rather than the orchestra. The song also went over the 3-minute time limit. Producers requested that Modugno return to his original arrangement, but dissatisfied, he threatened to withdraw from the contest. In the end, the EBU allowed his own ensemble.

Here is the full list of participants:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • Yugoslavia

Two artists returned to the contest, the first being Italian representative Domenico Modugno. He previously represented Italy in 1958 and 1959. Austrian representative Udo Jürgens returned for the third time, having participated in 1964 and 1965.

Domenico Modugno returned for Italy, however achieved nul points

Here are the competitors:

  • Margot Eskens – Die Zeiger der Uhr? (Germany) 🇩🇪
  • Ulla Pia – Stop – mens legen er go (Denmark) 🇩🇰
  • Tonia – Un peu de poivre, un peu de sel (Belgium) 🇧🇪
  • Michèle Torr – Ce soir je t’attendais (Luxembourg) 🇱🇺
  • Berta Ambrož – Brez besed (Yugoslavia)
  • Åse Kleveland – Intet er nytt under solen (Norway) 🇳🇴
  • Ann Christine – Playboy (Finland) 🇫🇮
  • Madalena Iglésias – Ele e ela (Portugal) 🇵🇹
  • Udo Jürgens – Merci Chérie (Austria) 🇦🇹
  • Lill Lindfors & Svante Thuresson – Nygammal vals (Sweden) 🇸🇪
  • Raphael – Yo soy aquél (Spain) 🇪🇸
  • Madeleine Pascal – Ne vois-tu pas? (Switzerland) 🇨🇭
  • Téréza – Bien plus fort (Monaco) 🇲🇨
  • Domenico Modugno – Dio, come ti amo (Italy) 🇮🇹
  • Dominique Walter – Chez nous (France) 🇫🇷
  • Milly Scott – Fernando en Filippo (The Netherlands) 🇳🇱
  • Dickie Rock – Come Back to Stay (Ireland) 🇮🇪
  • Kenneth McKellar – A Man Without Love (United Kingdom) 🇬🇧

The winner of the contest was Austria with Udo Jürgens and his song, Merci Chérie. The nation finished with 31 points, with second place Sweden achieving 16 points. This was the first time a song in German had won the contest.

Notably in the results, Sweden, Norway and Belgium all achieved their best results, finishing second, third and fourth respectively. In contrast, the nations that had traditionally done well at the contest, such as France, UK and Italy all achieved their worst result up until that point. Italy, in particular, finished in tied last place with zero points.

Watch the winning performance below: